The acclaimed Netflix series The crown chronicling the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, it is coming to an end, focusing on a subject that is still extremely sensitive in the British monarchy – the death of Princess Diana. The sixth and final season of the award-winning but often criticized show created by Peter Morgan is coming in two parts.
The first five episodes premiered on Friday, followed by the final five on December 14, culminating in 60 hours of storytelling that began in 2016. The drama covers the late queen’s journey from her marriage to Philip in 1947 to Kate Middleton’s accession in the early 2000s, the current Princess of Wales.
This season depicts the final weeks of Princess Diana’s life, following her tumultuous divorce from now King Charles III, leading to her tragic death on August 31, 1997. Pursued by paparazzi, the BMW carrying Diana and her lover Dodi Al-Fayed’s car crashed into a pillar in Paris’s Alma tunnel at high speed, killing her, Fayed and driver Henri Paul.
The royal family has taken years to recover from criticism over its response to the loss of Diana, who Tony Blair famously called the “people’s princess”. “It’s a very sensitive subject because it was such an important event in the life of the monarchy and the royal family and because people related to Diana are still very much alive, notably her now-adult sons William and Harry,” royal historian Ed Owens said. at the French Agency.
“It’s the seminal moment that the show has been building to since the first series. The question remains whether Peter Morgan is a friend or foe of the monarchy. This series will give us a fuller understanding of whether he believes it is an institution that has made great mistakes and it needs to be modernized. Or if it is an institution that has managed to modernize successfully since 1997.”
The final season specifically reproduces Queen Elizabeth’s rare live televised address from Buckingham Palace on September 5, 1997, paying tribute to Diana and addressing the widespread public mourning. Imelda Staunton, who has played the monarch for the last two seasons after Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, expressed that she felt “a huge responsibility” with this scene.
“It was an incredibly powerful address to the nation that a lot of people remember,” the actor said. “The importance of this was not taken lightly by anyone involved and I spent a lot of time listening to recordings of the actual speech as I had to be as accurate as I could with the highly sensitive subject.”
A media figure and celebrity friend, Diana gained worldwide popularity for showing empathy towards the less fortunate. She remains a figure of immense admiration beyond the UK, casting a shadow over the image of Charles and his wife Queen Camilla, who has struggled to fully overcome her reputation as a marriage wrecker.
The season is being nervously awaited by those close to the franchise – the family themselves have never commented on the series – while early revelations about Lady Di’s portrayal as a ghost have already sparked accusations of disrespect.
This isn’t the first time The Crown has come under fire, especially as it targets younger Netflix audiences who are learning about some events for the first time. Over the seasons, it has been accused of hinting at infidelities by the Queen and Prince Philip, portraying the current king as an unfaithful husband and even hinting at Charles’ desire for his mother to abdicate in the 1990s.
Last year, Netflix added a disclaimer clarifying that the show was a work of fiction. Annie Sulzberger, who led documentary research for the series, acknowledged the sensitivity surrounding Diana in an interview with The New York Times. “People who lived through Diana’s death feel a sense of ownership of that story, a sense of ownership, which can color their perception of her,” he said. “With recent history, you’re constantly fighting people’s personal and personal perspectives.”
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